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Nine Days    by Fred Hiatt order for
Nine Days
by Fred Hiatt
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Ethan Wynkoop has known Ti-Anna since sixth grade but it is only after a tenth grade class discussion about whether Mao could be considered the 'father of modern China' that they become friends. The teacher compares Mao to George Washington. Ethan can't help but speak up and point out that George Washington didn't kill twenty million of his countrymen.

After class, Ti-Anna thanks him for speaking up in class. Her parents are from China and relocated to Washington, D.C. when it became too dangerous for her father to stay in China. They left when Ti-Anna was four years old. Nathan later learns her father was once a big deal in the Chinese democracy movement and is now exiled from the country he loves and the people he wants to help. Ti-Anna is surprised and pleased that Nathan has heard about her father and a friendship begins.

Ethan's fascination with China began years earlier and his reading has led him to admire the Chinese. He begins to admire Ti-Anna as well. One day she points out a blue Taurus from the Chinese Embassy parked across from her apartment building. The embassy still keeps tabs on her father.

Shortly after, Ti-Anna's activist father disappears while on a trip to Hong Kong. Ti-Anna and her mother are terrified that the Chinese have taken him captive. She and Ethan decide to fly Hong Kong to find out what happened. Without Ethan's parents being aware of where he is and what he is doing, they set out to rescue Ti-Anna's father. Their trip takes nine days. Nine days during which they are lied to, followed, and Ti-Anna is captured by criminals to be sold as a sex slave.

This book is about so many serious things. It's too complex to call it a political thriller which it is, but it's also about friendship and is based on the life of Ti-Anna Wang. Ti-Anna Wang's parents named her Ti-Anna in commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Her father is a political prisoner. Fred Hiatt is a Washington Post editor and former foreign correspondent.

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